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Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Worsening Security Situation In Imo State



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The worsening security situation in Imo State is giving Ndi-Imo so much concern. This is connected to the current alarming rate of kidnapping, and armed robbery in the State. It is embarrassing the way and manner criminals abduct Imo citizens demanding ransom before their release. The consequence is that socio-economic activities in Imo are affected negatively, leading to economic hardship for the people. Investors are scared away, while the people feel too insecure to interact and socialize. This has resulted in a significant reduction of business activities in Imo with very dire consequences to the State economy.

Months ago the U.S. Department of State warned U.S. citizens of the risks of travelling to states like Imo in Nigeria because of kidnapping and robbery. This is getting out of hand! Cases of kidnapping in Imo as reported in the media are too numerous to mention . And there seems to be no solution. For example, the Eze –elect of Awo Mbieri autonomous community in Mbaitoli local council area of Imo State, Nze Oliver Nwaozuzu, was abducted by gunmen last week. The Medical Director of Saint Charles Hospital, Emekuku in Owerri North local council area of Imo State, Dr. Henry Dozie, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen in June last year. Mr. Chijioke Nnaemeka Iheaku, a lawyer and industrialist was kidnapped and murdered in Owerri in December last year.

What about the case of Chief Obinna Onuegbu ,a businessman and politician who was kidnapped in July last year. Armed men also, last year, kidnapped the Catholic bishop of Okigwe, Bishop Samuel Amatu. The former speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Godfrey Dikeocha was kidnapped in March this year .The husband of a Commissioner in Imo State was kidnapped. Lady Chioma Ogoke a serving Commissioner in this administration was kidnapped? Three girls were abducted on Sunday sometime in September last year at Saint Mulumba’s Catholic Parish, Owerri. The girls were on their way home from mass when they were kidnapped. The Chief Medical Director of Owerri Specialist Hospital, Umuguma,Dr. Moses Amako too was reportedly kidnapped by gunmen in December last year? A staff nurse attached to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri, Mrs Ursula Ohagwa and a former member of the House of Reps, Hon Tony Okere were also kidnapped this year.

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This is really getting out of hand. It is worrisome the ease with which these criminals are getting away with this heinous and unwholesome act in Imo State. Our streets, homes and offices have become increasingly vulnerable with virtually no where to turn to for help. At the moment we all live like prisoners wherever we are in Imo State. We sleep at night with one eye open and yet we have a governor who is the Chief Security Officer of the State. It is really sad that Imo State has degenerated to this level. It is really sad.

State security falls right on the laps of the governor. One reason of having a government in place is for the provision of security of lives and property of the citizenry. The 1999 constitution in section 14 (2) (b) provides that; “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”. One of the world’s best known political philosophers of all times Thomas Hobbes also stated that one purpose of government is the maintenance of basic security and public order. Hobbes was of the view that people in a community create and submit to government for the purpose of establishing for themselves, safety and public order. If the governor of Imo State,Owelle Rochas Okorocha cannot provide security for Ndi-Imo then he should peacefully resign.

The actions of governor Okorocha make it clear that he is to be blamed 80 percent for the high rate of kidnappings and robbery in Imo State. He has so far sacked 16,000 Imo citizens from jobs and he is about to disengage more 3000 in the name of redeployment of civil servants to serve in an illegal fourth tier government. We must blame the government for putting the youths out of jobs. People opt for kidnapping because of two major reasons: greed and lack of employment.

What do you expect in a state where the youths are pushed out of jobs? A state where the security vote has been diverted for other use; a state where workers are owed salaries. A state where contractors are subjected to fund government projects to completion without payment; a state where the Governor has refused to release money into the system and the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the State are asked to engage in commercial activities in order to generate their salaries and allowances. A state where LGA funds are looted; a state of escalating executive lawlessness, a state of disregard for constitutional rights.

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Government in Imo today is Okorocha only. Imo people are suffocating. The teachers are suffering. The civil servants are suffering. Business men are suffering. Even the traders are suffering. What we have in Imo State is the more you look the less you see. In Thisday newspaper of 3rd May, back page ,SegunAdeniyi , a popular Nigerian writer gave graphic details of the joke and comic going on in Imo state. According to Adeniyi ‘In Imo State today, it is one day, one promise.Okorocha is going to build a megacity in Okigwe; he will build two palm oil plantations; he will construct a 25-storey hotel; he will build three universities for the state; he will construct an ecumenical centre; and he has already taken over all federal roads in the state for which he has awarded contracts without any documentation! The governor has practically become the sole administrator, expending public money and coming up with all manner of bizarre ideas without any legislative oversight.’

I do not hate my governor as a person but i hate his anti-peoples style of governance. His worst enemies are the choir members surrounding him singing hosannas into his ears for their selfish reasons. I call them vultures because they feed fat on the carcasses of the poor. These people are not only castigating him presently in their closets, they will be the first to shout ‘crucify him’ as soon as he is out of power.He should learn from history.

He knows that without the people ,he wouldn’t have won the seat. Instead of serving the people, he is serving himself, his thugs and praise singers. He has travelled to all the continents of this world and has seen what leadership is all about in descent countries. Leaders are the junior partners in the social contract between the leaders and the people. Imo people are complaining but our governor is deaf to the cries. Save us o’ God.

Kenneth Uwadi, Mmahu-Egbema,Imo State,Nigeria

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